Regional agencies receive emergency-preparedness grants

Posted Jan 19, 2016

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) has awarded about $6.5 million in federal funds for 100 projects to enhance emergency preparedness and security throughout the commonwealth, officials announced Jan. 13.

Fairfax County will receive $9,100 for training and/or equipment for its Citizen Corps program; $63,000 for advanced technical training for its hazardous-materials response team; $200,000 for its incidents-management team; $150,000 from the statewide strategic reserve for the county’s radio cache; and $75,000 for equipment for its technical-rescue team.

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D.C. Water steps up emergency planning with contamination drill

Posted Jan 13, 2016

Thirty-one staffers from the District’s water utility and other city agencies had a problem: Residents had begun reporting that their water smelled of petroleum, signaling possible contamination in part of the city’s drinking water supply.

The scenario was purely theoretical, but the large conference room at D.C. Water’s Bryant Street Pumping Station in Northwest Washington began buzzing with questions.

“Where were the calls from?” one D.C. Water staffer asked. “What’s the current message out to the public?” asked another.

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LA Launches El Niño Map to Aid Citizens as Storms Hit

Posted Jan 8, 2016

As the first of this year’s El Niño storms hits California, the state’s biggest city has launched a map to keep citizens up to date and help guide them to resources they might need in case of flooding.

The City of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency’s “El Niño Watch” website shows users a map of the county, including a layer showing rainfall severity and pins that show where residents can find sandbags, shelter, hardware stores and other resources. The map also lets users know the status of power outages and shows traffic alerts.

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First Responders Honored With Week of Appreciation

Posted Jan 5, 2016

(TNS) - They are the people who roll out of bed at 3 a.m. when you smell smoke. They show up when you crash your car. They also come when you suspect a burglar.
They're the first responders.

First responders have become so important that the state Senate unanimously adopted a resolution designating Jan. 1 through 8, 2016, as "First Responder Appreciation Week" in Pennsylvania.

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I-66 used as test bed for student’s traffic app

Posted Jan 5, 2016

A Virginia Tech graduate student’s mobile app is offering the potential to improve driver safety and save time, and had its first major test along congested portions of Interstate 66.

As part of a Connected Vehicle-Infrastructure University Transportation Center project, Kayla Sykes – a master’s-degree candidate in the College of Engineering – worked with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s Center for Technology Development to develop and test the app, which informs participants of speed limits, HOV-lane information, lane availability and traffic data.

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Emergency Responders Factor in Shooters

Posted Dec 29, 2015

(TNS) - On a late October day, Fairfield police, firefighters, and members of the local branch of American Medical Response ran a drill at the Fairfield Public Schools, testing everyone on how they’d respond if there was a shooting at one of the schools.

“The call started out as a benign dumpster fire, then it turned out that was just a distraction, and it was actually an active shooter,” Bill Schietinger, general manager of AMR Fairfield County operations, said of the drill.

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5-year-old Va. girl's fire safety training helps her family escape house fire

Posted Dec 29, 2015

- There was a happy reunion and a word of thanks at Reagan National Airport on Monday.

Last month, a family in Alexandria, Virginia had to escape their home after a fire broke out. But it wasn't only the fire that was unexpected. It was the person who led the escape to safety from the blaze.

Gabby Mushahwar is like most 5-year-olds, except Gabby is sort of a hero.

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